Are your workout habits hurting your knees?
Each day, exercise enthusiasts fill fitness floors across the country with the common goal of getting in shape. But many engage in potentially dangerous workout programs without any education on the proper form and safety precautions necessary to avoid injury. Instead, workout cues often come from watching other gym-goers or from following social media stars whose sole credential is looking great in gym gear.
Exercise is essential for well-being and longevity. But for it to be beneficial, it must be done right. It’s common to cruise through exercises that place pressure on the knees such as running, squatting, and climbing. It’s not until sustaining an injury to this sensitive joint that we consider the consequences of mindless movements.
Protect and support your overworked knees with the following fit tips and toning techniques:
Squat safely. If you’ve ever experienced a sharp pang of pain while practicing a deep bend, it’s enough to make you avoid squats entirely. But bending plays a major role in your daily activities, so it’s essential to learn how to squat safely.
Try this simple sequence to master your form:
Learn to lunge. One of the nicest things you can do for your knees is learn to lunge correctly. Unilateral exercises such as lunges help to correct muscular asymmetries, strengthen the core and lower body muscles, and improve flexibility and balance. When the hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes are strong, the knee joint is more stabilized, which decreases the likelihood of strains and pains.
Here’s how to become a pro lunger:
Toning tip: Whether you are squatting or lunging, aim to practice these exercises three days each week. This allows ample time for rest and muscle regeneration, and prevents overuse injuries associated with too much pressure placed on the knee joint.
Avoid aches. To keep your knees healthy, it’s important to implement auxiliary toning tasks that strengthen the supporting muscle groups such as the hips, glutes, and quads.
These two exercises target the supporting muscles. To increase the challenge, add a resistance band around the thighs. For best results, repeat this quick circuit three times.